Now that you have decided to send your child/children back to school or have them learn virtually, there is one thing that I’m sure will pop up as it always does: NIGHTLY READ ALOUDS. Most educators will send home a form that says you should read to your little readers for a minimum of 20-30 minutes every night as scientific studies show doing so enhances comprehension and builds their vocabulary amongst other things. Most parents are trying to figure out how to juggle the plethora of tasks they now have on their plate during this unprecedented time, therefore reading to your children every night seems daunting and a for sure item to get kicked off of the to-do list. Don’t freight as it doesn’t have to be such an unnerving task.
As a retired educator and parent of a budding 1st grader, I can share a few tips to help make the Read Aloud a breeze. These are some of the tips and tricks I personally use in order to get Read Alouds done without creating more on my plate. Read the list below which I have broken up by the days of the week and be sure to let us know if you find them helpful.
Monday: 1.) Allow your little reader to choose a title from your home library if they haven’t been provided with one to bring home.
2.) Set a timer for 20-30 mins. and read their selection to them with beaming enthusiasm. (That’s it!)
Tuesday: Set a timer and have them read the story to you freely. Don’t correct during this time unless they ask you for help. Once the timer beeps let them know they can finish the next day if they have not completed their reading. (Make sure you’re paying attention to and keeping a mental note of what words they may be struggling with.)
Wednesday: Set a timer. If they did not finish their story from the previous night allow them to complete their reading. If your reader completed their reading the previous night, use tonight to have them reread the story as you correct them with any struggles they may have with the reading.
Thursday: Set a timer. Popcorn read with each other by taking turns calling on each other to read. (This is usually really exciting for little readers.)
Friday: Engage in open discussion about what they have read during the week. (You can even throw in a few structured questions by clicking here: Question Stems by Grade Level)
*Disclaimer: You can ask a few of the questions on the question stems link any day of the week but remember the point is to make this easier on yourself during this time. Therefore, asking questions towards the end of the week is just as effective and even gives your little reader a chance to work on their long-term story retelling abilities*
If you notice, you have not been responsible for a lot of the heavy lifting for the week, yet your little reader should have been able to engage in reading while having you fully read to them once during the weekly read aloud cycle. Remember, together we can still have successful scholars without tiring ourselves out!
Until next time, Happy Reading!